Embark on a 360-Degree Geologic Expedition
This activity will introduce users to my first Immersive Virtual Field Experience (IVFE), briefly explain the rationale for creating it, the pedagogy that makes it work and then allow ample time for independent exploration of the resource while attendees reflect on how the resource could be integrated in their courses.
"Sometimes getting to a place to observe geologic evidence is tough" (Ira Flatow - Dec 2016). To solve that problem I've built an immersive virtual field experience that combines interactive high-resolution 360-degree photospheres, embedded 3-D modeling of individual rocks from the field site and embedded NGSS-style guiding questions. It allows users to explore the Columns of the Giants in the Sierra Nevada and answer the questions "What are the Columns of the Giants and How Did they Form?" This activity will introduce users to my first Immersive Virtual Field Experience (IVFE), briefly explain the rationale for creating it and the pedagogy that makes it work. Time for independent exploration of the resource will allow attendees to reflect on how the resource could be integrated into their courses.
The activity is used as a virtual field experience for my high school students. Since we have no funds available for multi-class Sierra-bound field studies, this high-resolution immersive photosphere IVFE brings the Sierra's to the students. The goal is to have students use observational evidence to collaboratively decipher the geologic history of the Columns of the Giants. Students are taught how to create field notebooks and field sketches as well as how to use field guides that can help them answer questions about the site that may arise. The students use observations and evidence from their field notes to collaboratively construct a timeline of events that created the Columns of the Giants.
Why It Works
While there have been many previous iterations of virtual geology field trips, I believe my Immersive Virtual Field Experience (IVFE) to be the only trip in existence that merges exceptionally high-resolution (zoomable) photospheres, photoscanned 3D-models of site specimens and expertly-crafted guiding questions embedded into a photosphere. While not quite gigapan-worthy, the resolution of each photosphere allows students to zoom in up to 10x's and see details that would be obliterated by pixelation in most low-resolution photospheres. Such resolution makes an experiential field trip to remote sites accessible to all. The 3D photoscanned rocks embedded within the photospheres are amazingly detailed and invites participants to virtually bend down and interact with samples. The most innovative aspect of the trip is the manner in which the guiding questions are used to tie the amazing technology together. Students will rely upon each other and consult field guides to make sense of their observations. The scientific discourse involved allows students' multiple ideas to be shared and vetted before drawing a conclusion.
Presentation MediaEmbark on a 360-Degree Immersive Virtual Field Experience (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 89.9MB Jul16 17)
Embark on a 360-Degree Immersive Virtual Field Experience (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 89.9MB Jul16 17)